Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups Celebrating National Cookie Month

National Cookie Month, Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups, Desserts

Image Credit: The Gunny Sack

Ahhh….cookies. What’s your favorite? The classic chocolate chip? Oatmeal raisin? Shortbread? Spiced chocolate molasses buttons? S’mores sandwich cookies? Peanut butter cookies? Classic sugar cookies?

We think about the GirlScouts selling them, about Cookie Monster on Sesame Street obsessed with them, and we think about those decadent smells coming from the oven baking during the holidays. I came across a cute, artistic and decadent Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups recipe from The Gunny Sack. This dessert is made with sugar cookie dough filled with hot chocolate ganache, has a pretzel handle and mini marshmallows on top!

Below are the instructions, but you can click here for more in-depth tips and recommendations on preparing this adorable cookie.

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
Total Time
34 mins
Servings: 24

1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
12 mini pretzels
1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
*optional – granulated sugar

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Put 1 tablespoon of the sugar cookie dough into 24 greased mini muffin tins.
*Update – an optional step would be to roll the sugar cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before putting them into the mini muffin tins to help prevent sticking.
*Bake for 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
*Make the chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil.
*Stir in the hot cocoa mix.
*Pour the hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
*Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.
*Melt the white chocolate and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
*Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
For best results, store the hot chocolate cookie cups in the refrigerator.

Happy National Cookie Month on #FoodPornFriday


Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets on Food Porn Friday

National Seafood Month, Food, Seafood, Food Porn Friday, GRILLED MAHI MAHI FILLETS WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA

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I can literally have seafood at any time of the day. In celebration of National Seafood Month, I am featuring this recipe for Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets with Pineapple Salsa, courtesy of the folks in the kitchen at Ready Set Eat! Bon Appetit!

Flaky grilled mahi-mahi topped with a spicy, sweet pineapple salsa with zesty Ro*Tel tomatoes


PAM® Grilling Spray
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
1-1/4 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 Mahi-Mahi fillets (about 4 ounces each), thawed if frozen

NUTRITION INFORMATION – 202 calories, 11g Ca

Spray outdoor grill with grilling spray; preheat to medium-high heat. Stir together tomatoes, pineapple, red onion, cilantro and half the kosher salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Stir together the garlic, cumin, oregano and remaining salt in small bowl. Coat fish evenly with oil and rub fish filets with seasoning mixture.

Grill fish about 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until firm (145°). Remove from grill and place on individual plates or serving platter. Top each filet with pineapple salsa; serve immediately.
Grill fish on a piece of aluminum foil, sprayed with grilling spray, for easier clean-up.
For gluten-free preparation, confirm all recipe ingredients are gluten-free by reading product labels each time you make this recipe.

Happy #FoodPornFriday

Celebrating National Rice Month with Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice, Rice, National Rice Month, Grains, Food Porn Friday

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As a native Charlestonian, rice has always been our main sustainable staple for most of our dishes. As we come to the close of celebrating National Rice Month, we honor our U.S. rice farmers by featuring this tiny grain in a recipe for Easy Mexican Rice courtesy of What’s your favorite rice dish? Bon Appetit!

Easy Mexican Rice
Ready in 25 minutes


1⁄4-1⁄3 cup finely chopped onion
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon drippings)
1 1⁄4 cups parboiled long-grain rice
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

– Over medium-high heat, sauté onion in olive oil until tender; add rice and continue sautéing for 3-5 minutes until rice becomes opaque.
– Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings; bring to boil then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked.
– Remove pan from heat; let stand covered for 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed; fluff with fork and serve.
Note: My best ever success with this recipe was achieved using bacon drippings for sautéing, rounded measuring scoops of rice, and only a half can (4 ounces) of tomato sauce with water added to almost fill the can.

Be sure to check out the National Rice Month Scholarship Contest sponsored by Think Rice. Entries must be received by October 31, 2017.  For more information about this contest, click here for further details.

Happy #NationalRiceMonth on #FoodPornFriday

Baked Honey Bacon Benedict, a Buzzworthy Delight during National Honey Month

Honey, Honey Recipes, Bees, National Honey Month

Image Credit: National Honey Board

Awww…honey! What a fabulous time to promote honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener, bee culture, as well as spotlighting the beekeeping industry. September is National Honey Month and a perfect time to celebrate HONEY and the health benefits that come with it!

From the kitchen of the National Honey Board, we are featuring this buzz-worthy recipe, Baked Honey Bacon Benedict. What a honey-licious way to start your day!


YIELD: Serves 6-8
4 tablespoons butter
1 package English muffins split
1 lb. thick bacon
1/4 cup honey
1 dozen eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
For Hollandaise:
2 packages hollandaise sauce
2 cups 2% milk
1 stick butter
Fresh parsley or chives and paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°

Spread each muffin half with butter and bake for 10 minutes on a sheet pan, set aside.

Spread the bacon out on a parchment lined sheet pan and drizzle with the honey. Bake for 20-25 minutes turning once. Remove each piece of bacon to a cooling rack to drain and cool. Cut each piece of bacon in half.

Prepare the hollandaise sauce according to the package directions and keep warm.

Place the muffin halves on a sheet pan and evenly divide the bacon over each muffin. Gently break one egg over each muffin half and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs a cooked to your preference.

Serves immediately topped with warm hollandaise and garnished with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of paprika.

Tip: You can use the traditional method of poaching the eggs if you prefer, but this method of baking the eggs is much easier and great for entertaining.

Happy #NationalHoneyMonth on #FoodPornFriday

Hopi Corn Stew and Blue Dumplings on Food Porn Friday

Hopi Corn Stew, Native American Food, Blue Dumplings, Ethnic Food, Hopi Indians

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The three essential staple foods among the Native Americans (Eastern Woodlands Aboriginal Americans) is a triad known as the Three Sisters: corn (Maize), beans, and squash. According to,

Beans, American Native Food, Native American Food

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Farming was another very important source of American Indian food materials. Native agriculture was most advanced in what is now the southern United States, Mexico, and the Andean region of South America. Native Americans from those areas used special farming techniques like irrigation, terracing, crop rotation, and planting windbreaks to improve their farms, and they usually harvested enough crops to dry and store for the winter. Some examples of southern Native American tribes who were expert farmers included the Hopi, Navajo, and Cherokee tribes. Other tribes further to the north planted crops in garden plots in their villages but did not harvest enough to last the winter, so they would split up into hunting camps during that time instead.

Today on Food Porn Friday, we are featuring Hopi Corn Stew & Blue Dumplings courtesy of

Hopi Corn Stew & Blue Dumplings

For the Stew:
2 tbs bacon drippings
1 1/2 lb ground beef or goat meat
1 medium onion-chopped
1 green bell pepper-chopped
1 tbs ground New Mexico red pepper
4 cups corn kernels
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
4 cups water
2 tbs whole wheat flour
salt to taste

For the Blue Dumplings:
2 cups blue cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs bacon drippings
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk

Making the Stew:
Heat bacon drippings over medium-high heat in a large stew-pot or Dutch oven. Add the meat and sauté until lightly browned. Stir in onion, pepper and ground chili. Sauté until onion is translucent, 3-4 minutes.

Stir in corn, zucchini and squash and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30-40 minutes, until meat and vegetables are tender.

Then, in a small bowl, combine flour and 2 tablespoons broth from the stew. Whisk back into the stew and simmer until thickened. Add the dumplings to the stew during the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Making the Dumplings:
In a mixing bowl combine cornmeal, baking powder, bacon drippings and salt. Stir in enough milk to make a stiff batter. Drop by tablespoons into the stew during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Happy #FoodPornFriday

Roasted Portobello Caps on Food Porn Friday, Roasted Portobello Caps, Food Porn Friday, National Mushroom Month

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As we celebrate National Mushroom Month we want to share this simple, fast and delicious recipe for Roasted Portobello Caps from the kitchen of Using jumbo portobello mushrooms, this recipe can be a side dish or an appetizer. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients (4 servings)

4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
¼ teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Active 10 minutes
Ready In 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan with cooking spray. Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, oil, the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and top each cap with about 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumb mixture, spreading evenly. Return to the oven and roast until the breadcrumbs are browned, about 5 minutes.

Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

#HappyNationalMushroomMonth on #FoodPornFriday

Food Porn Friday features Garlic Chicken Panini

Although August was National Panini Month we simply couldn’t resist featuring this delicious panini sandwich on Food Porn Friday.  The Panini or Panino is a grilled sandwich made from bread (baguette, ciabatta, or michetta) that is pressed and toasted. This popular sandwich is made from sandwich presses, often known as “panini presses” or “toasted sandwich makers.

Here is a simple and yummy sandwich from the kitchen of Panini Happy.

Garlic Chicken Panini
Brine adapted from Chowhound; Basil Garlic Mayonnaise from Epicurious

Makes 4 panini


1 quart water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 bay leaf
1 crushed garlic clove
6 whole black peppercorns
A dash of dried thyme
A dash of dried parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (thin-sliced)
1 baguette, cut into 4 pieces, halved lengthwise
Basil Garlic Mayonnaise (see recipe below)
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, sliced about 1/4″ thick
1 small jar of roasted red peppers
4 slices Swiss cheese


In a large bowl, combine water, salt, honey, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and lemon juice. Add chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Set chicken aside. Turn off the grill, wipe it clean and preheat it again to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Spread Basil Garlic Mayonnaise inside two baguette halves. Place a chicken breast cutlet on the bottom bread half. Arrange layers of artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers on top of the chicken. Add a slice of cheese and close the sandwich with the top bread half.

Grill the sandwich for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Slice in half, serve immediately and enjoy!

Basil Garlic Mayonnaise


1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup mayonnaise


Pulse basil, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until finely chopped. Add mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Chill, covered, 1 hour (for flavors to develop).

Happy #FoodPornFriday!